France Angry over US Spying Claims

World | October 22, 2013, Tuesday // 08:10
Bulgaria: France Angry over US Spying Claims In a phone conversation with US President Barack Obama, French President Francois Hollande said tapping phone calls was "unacceptable between friends and allies", demanding an explanation. File photo

French President Francois Hollande has expressed "deep disapproval" over claims the US National Security Agency secretly tapped phone calls in France.

The allegations were carried in France's Le Monde newspaper and are based on leaks from US ex-intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.

In a phone conversation with US President Barack Obama, the French president said this was "unacceptable between friends and allies", demanding an explanation.

Hollande said that such practices "infringe on the privacy of French citizens" and demanded "explanations" from Obama, according to a statement issued by French presidency.

A White House statement said the two presidents had discussed the latest disclosure, "some of which have distorted our activities and some of which raise legitimate questions for our friends and allies about how these capabilities are employed".

It said: "President [Obama] made clear that the United States has begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share."

The NSA has recently spied on 70.3m phone calls in France, it is claimed.

Officials, businesses and terror suspects are believed to have been tracked in just 30 days between 10 December last year and 8 January 2013.

The allegations were carried in France's Le Monde newspaper and are based on leaks from US ex-intelligence analyst Edward Snowden.

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Tags: spying, US, France, francois hollande, president, French, Edward Snowden, Barack Obama
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